When I incorporated my real estate business some 40 years ago, I considered having a catchy name for it. But a good friend suggested, “What’s wrong with your name?” Of course, he was right. I’m it. I don’t have sales people and just some office help from time to time. Associates? Sure. I associate with other real estate people. But when you deal with the Leon R. Miller Company, you deal with me from the first contact until the sale is closed.
I grew up on a grain-livestock farm in central Illinois in the 1950’s. The chores of feeding hogs, watering cattle, hauling manure, cultivating corn, baling hay – in blowing snow storms or in sweltering heat — were mandatory, not options. The work ethic, Dad’s, became mine. These chores were to be done right! Do-your-best was never acceptable, especially when it came to feeding and watering livestock. Thinking back — really thinking back – there were few experiences I consider good about the “good-ole-days.” But one thing is certain: The work ethic, imbedded in me as a farm kid has been fundamental for my success in college and in business.
Oh yes, college. I got my B.S. Degree from the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture. Some may think that a farm kid wouldn’t need to go to Ag school, but that’s where they are wrong. Land economics, rural land appraising, farm management, soils, and marketing courses gave me a new insight into agriculture and the land. I am a better real estate broker today because of this education.
After graduation, I was employed by Doane Agricultural Services. At that time, Doane was the Number One farm management and appraisal company in the United States. My Dad was ecstatic when his son was hired by Doane. I managed farms for a short time and then transferred into Doane’s newly-formed real estate division. I made my first land sale in 1967. It was 343 acres in Warren County, Missouri, and yes, I remember the price: $150 per acre!
I was with Doane for nearly 10 years. During those years, I co-authored two books, taught real estate courses, and served as Vice-President of a limited partnership, Doane Landco. I was director of the Company’s St. Louis area Real Estate Division, and, of course, I sold farm and land investments. Doane gave me the opening to establish myself as a well-informed, client-oriented farm and land broker.
The Leon R. Miller Company has been going for 35 years. Now, if I told you I was the best, you might think I’m like everybody else. Claims are easy to make. It’s everyday results that count! That’s why you should read the letters from a few of my satisfied clients. They’re the best judges.